KOLKATA, 23 JUNE: The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) was today blamed for lack of transparency and not supplying adequate amount of drinking water sent by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to municipalities of Dum Dum, South Dum Dum and Bidhannagar.
In a meeting with the CEO of KMDA, Mr Vivek Bharadwaj, called by the mayor, Mr Sovan Chatterjee, today at Unnayan Bhavan, Salt Lake, the Bidhannagar MLA, Mr Sujit Bose, and Vice-Chairman of Bidhannagar Municipality, Mr Sabyasachi Dutta, alleged that 5 million gallon per day (mgd) water sent for each municipality by the KMC was not being supplied properly and the stretch of time for water supply has also been cut short. For the past one year, the representatives of the municipalities had been complaining against such anomaly to KMDA but no action was taken. KMDA operates the pumps of the tanks in Lake Town and Central Park, Salt Lake.
Though Mr Bharadwaj denied such allegations and said it was the KMC that had not been supplying 5 mgd of drinking water, Mr Chatterjee said the corporation had been supplying adequate drinking water and if the municipalities are not getting it, the issue needs to be investigated. He said water meters would be installed in the reservoirs by the KMC in three months to keep a track of the amount of water supplied and consumed. The cost of the meter would be borne by the KMDA.
He said from now on the municipalities would operate the water pump and its upkeep would be their responsibility. Only the maintenance cost would be borne by KMDA. Drinking water is provided thrice a day in the localities and according to Mr Bose, KMDA without any order or permission, curtailed each time slot by 20 minutes to half-an-hour. Because of this, residents of these localities have been suffering from acute water crisis for the past couple of months, particularly since June last year.
Mr Bose said the problem aggravated before the election to sabotage his chances of winning. Potable water supplied to these localities has been as less as 2-2.5 mgd. When his requests were not heeded, he informed chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee who instructed him to talk to the mayor, he added.
Committee to be formed to tackle waterlogging
KOLKATA, 22 JUNE: A high-power committee, constituted with officials of different departments, is on the anvil to prevent waterlogging in the city and look into proper drainage of stagnant water after rains, state irrigation and waterways minister, Dr Manas Bhuniya, said today, after a meeting with the mayor, Mr Sovan Chatterjee, officials of various departments and MLAs in Jal Sampad Bhavan in Salt Lake.
He said that the secretary of the irrigation department, Mr Anjan Chattopadhyay, has been instructed to form the committee as soon as possible. The committee would have a representative each from the irrigation department, Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA), Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC), police, health, West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (Hidco) and Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT). The chairpersons of Rajarhat and Bidhannagar Municipalities will also be on the committee. It was known that the CEO of KMDA, Mr Vivek Bharadwaj, and additional police commissioner (I), Mr Sudhir Mishra, will be members of the committee. Dr Bhuniya said that he would have a detailed report on the ongoing work and efforts taken to check waterlogging in seven days and the committee would meet after 10 days to prepare a plan. “The committee would enable Kolkata Municipal Corporation and Irrigation department to work together technically and administratively. Earlier, projects used to remain incomplete due to lack of coordination among various departments,” Dr Bhuniya said.
Waterlogging and drainage problems in canal areas were discussed at the meeting attended by MLAs of constituencies along the canals. Mr Sovan Chatterjee said: “City dwellers think that it is only the responsibility of the KMC to check waterlogging but irrigation department also has a major role to play. Today for the first time, an effort was made to bring all the departments together.” Today’s meet was also attended by higher education minister, Mr Bratya Basu, minister of state for Sunderbans affairs and irrigation and waterways, Mr Shyamal Mandal, and MLAs Mr Sadhan Pandey, Mr Sujit Bose and Mr Paresh Pal.